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Thursday, November 03, 2005


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And if Thome never recovers his health sufficiently or goes down again to elbow, finger, back or other problems? Can the Phillies really be that reckless? I don't think so.

If it happens, they could move Utley to first and replace him with a defender at second. It would be a chance I'd be willing to take if Howard gets them 3B and P. Keep in mind, Howard's value is extremely high right now.

Also something to consider, based on what I have seen:

Utley = average defense 2B
Utley = potentially good defense 1B

Not to be a jerk, but what does a reporter at the Del. County Daily Times know? Sure, he can get more inside the operation than any of us, but it sounds like pure speculation. Option 1 is to move Thome. Only if Thome can not be traded with they consider trading Howard. Plus, I don't think Howard would garner a real No. 2 starter and a third-baseman.

I love the hot stove. Love. It.

Wouldn't this basically kill all chances the Phillies have at getting back their fans?

It's hard to be all for a trade when you are talking about a Pitcher and a Third basemen without throwing any names out there.

I don't think any Phillies are untouchable (Utley being the closest), but you'd have to really get a sweet deal to ship out Howard.

I posted what i heard...i think phils need to keep howard..

it was just interesting listening to the tone of the conversation and the commentators were both agreeing that the phils simply will not be able to trade thome..therefore, expect them to shop howard

we'll see what happens obviously..

Playing sports editor, we need an article that details Thome's health, whether he's rehabbing, whether he's willing to be traded, etc. Thome has dropped off the face of the earth since elbow surgery.

Does anyone have a clue as to whether the Phillies carry any sort of insurance on a player like Thome?

His injuries over the last two seasons have left him a much-dminished commodity no matter how much he appears to have recovered by this Spring.

The Phillies must face the fact that he may not bring anything of value, but does that mean they keep him in his dimished capacity and give up a player of Howard's future?

Where is the logic in that? I would rather see them eat all of Thome's salary (less any insurance if that applies) if he cannot help them in any capacity AND if it means giving up Howard.

When talking about trading Howard, you obviously have to consider what you might get in return. Who's to say you can't get an equally exciting, big-upside young 3B, for example? Would that be a bad thing? Just as a hypothetical example, wouldn't the Phillies be a better team if they traded Howard for David Wright? How about Barry Zito? If Howard could get you a Zito and Thome couldn't, wouldn't it be worth the gamble that Thome could produce at 1B and take Zito? (assuming you can re-sign him)

I like Howard a lot, and I would hope Thome is the priority trade target, but I would rather have the Phillies in the postseason with Thome at 1B with 25 HRs than the Phillies in 2nd and Howard with 50 HRs.

I wouldn't trade Howard for Zito. Zito is a fine pitcher, but he isn't a Pedro Martinez sort of pitcher who would alter the complexion of this team signficantly. Zito is essentially a better version of Randy Wolf, a junk ball pitcher who relies completely on his breaking stuff.

I'd trade him for Wright, however, but the Mets are not about to give up Wright for anyone.

Trading Howard would be too disasterous to do from a PR standpoint. Would they still do it? Ofcourse.

The one thing though, if the Phils DO have insurance on Thome they could probably only collect if he cannot play anymore, not if we trade him and eat part of his salary.

The other thing is I would dispute the Howard trade rumor only becuase Gillick does have a rep for liking younger, cheaper players.

Let's GO WAY out on a limb in speculation...Gillick lobbies Selig to move The Phils to the AL. Currently, the al has 2 less teams, this would even things out.

- Move KC to the AL West
- Move TOR to the AL Central
- Move PHI to the AL East
- Move PIT to the NL East

Who wouldn't be excited about that? (Prob Tor since they would lose some of their gate from visiting Bosox/NY games)

The Pirates would enjoy it, the KC fans don't care anyway and putting Phila into the mix against Bos/Ny/Bal would be a great gate/tv attraction all the way around.

That Dude, they can't move the Phillies to the AL. 15 teams in each league is a scheduling nightmare. One team would always have to be not playing. They either have to get rid of two teams to even up the leagues, or expand two teams to bring both to 16 teams (and maybe go to four four-team divisions?).

Thome really should end up back in the AL as a DH, though.

Howard for Wright straight-up would be interesting, but yeah, it'd never happen.

I have an idea, trade Ryan Howard to the Red Sox. Paging Bronson Arroyo. Check out my site.

Diesel Sports Blog

nooooo way in hell should a howard trade even be considered unless it's for a david wright-type player, and there aren't many of those types of players available. i think it makes infinitely more sense to eat a large chunk thome's contract and get some B level prospects and have howard for the next 10-15 years. Odds are David Bell isnt going anywhere after the year he had so he's going to clog up 3rd base next year, concentrate on that position in 07.

the best course of action would be to keep thome and howard and try to move thome when/if he proves he's healthy and an AL team has a key 1b/dh injury

The Phillies might not have to eat any of Thome's contract if they would be willing to gamble on a high-priced younger player like Adrian Beltre in Seattle. He could fill 3B for the next 5 yrs or so. I think the Mariners might be looking to move him. Throwing in Bell would even out the salaries I think. Big gamble on Gillick's part to pull the trigger on a deal like that, but I'd do it.

I agree with Pat that I would not trade Howard unless you were getting a sure-fire stud in return. But I would try to move Thome during the offseason for two reasons:
1) It's a distraction to the team if trade talks are going on all through April and May (and beyond) and both Thome and Howard's names are being tossed around.
2) You would be taking ABs away from Howard if you kept Thome in the lineup to show he could still play and increase his trade value. It would be a repeat of the Polanco-Utley scenario, which cost Utley some ABs. Better to take a little less in return for Thome and get the deal done early.

Love that off-season speculation.

Thome and Bell for Beltre would be an awesome deal for the Phils. The fans in Seattle are very anti-Beltre, and seem to be very excited at the prospect of bringing in Thome to be their new DH. I don't know how much Bavasi is swayed by fan pressure, but let's hope he is.

Assuming he's willing to waive his no trade clause, Thome and Bell for Beltre would give the Phils an infield all under the age of 27, with all-star potential at every position. Dealing Thome frees up Howard to play his natural position, and Beltre would give them a third baseman beyond next season. Giddy-up. This one would be easy for me.

I'm still hung up, however, on Thome having limited or no value in a trade to another team. He hasn't played for months. Is he even healthy enough to play anymore? No one seems to know the answer. An answer to that question would be pretty key to this discussion.

Let's keep the hot stove burning. Let's assume the Phils get a right-handed pull hitter in Beltre. Why move the porch back in the offseason? Why not wait? There's only a slim chance they'll be able to lure a pitcher here via free agency, and the pickins are very slim anyway. A short porch in left means less ground for poor-fielding Burrell to cover, and less distance for two pull hitters to crank one - Burrell and Beltre.

The fans in Seattle are anti-Beltre? That'd be the first I've heard of it... and I attended 40 games in Safeco this year. I think most people are waiting for him to bounce back from his adjustment to the AL. Despite the lower-than-expected power hitting numbers from him, he still played stellar defense here, and took a lot of initiative in being a clubhouse leader (including this awesome time where he picked up Ryan Franklin by the collar and dragged him screaming and yelling off of Bryan Price. Classic.)

I can't really imagine us doing that trade, period. We already have an AWESOME 1B slugger in Richie Sexson and a pretty reasonable DH-sometimes-LF in Ibanez -- the Mariners, if they're going to improve by adding a left-handed power bat, need to do it by finding another outfielder, not someone like Thome.

How about Abreu and Lieberthal for Derek Lowe and Andy LaRoche... maybe someone else like Dionar Navarro or Jayson Worth depending on what else the Phillies would kick in.

Thome and $21mil to the Twins for JC Romero and prospects or Thome and $21mil to the White Sox -- if they can't/won't match 4yrs/$52mil for Konerko -- for Freddy Garcia -- who is supposedly on the trading block now due to McCarthy -- and maybe even someone like Damaso Marte depending on the economics of the remainder of Garcia's deal.

Then you either try to trade Bell plus cash for prospects and sign Mueller... or else keep Bell and sign Mueller.

Re-sign Wagner... or if he walks try to sign Wickman or BJ Ryan. Tender Vicente and offer arbitration to Urbina.

If this all worked out our rotation could be: Lieber, Myers, Lowe(,/)Garcia, Lidle.

Although perhaps the SEPTA strike and daily runs are getting me too worked up and too optimistic.... Love the hot stove.

if only i started my blog months ago and had more exhcange with you. i was in seattle a couple weeks ago and took the tour of safeco. nice town.

I don't understand what the Phillies could trade Howard for that they can't get though Free Agency. Need a pitcher? Sign Burnett or one of the other guys available. In one more year, Gavin Floyd should be ready. Maybe by 2025 Cole Hammels will be good to go as well.

Also, interesting description of Howard in your initial post:

"He's cheap, he's young, there's no long-term baggage, and he's a star in the making."

Isn't that the kind of player teams get completely moist over? While trading Thome may not bring you value, the same can be said about Howard. How does a team trade a potential franchise guy like that and get fair value? Because you know they'll just end up getting something like Matt Clement and Bill Mueller. As if you Philly fans haven't suffered enough already.

gr -- well, it goes both ways, I came back home and went to Citizens Bank Park over Labor Day. The Safeco tour is pretty cool though. It was really fun having the Phillies play out here this summer in interleague, too.

Anyway, as for getting a starting pitcher via free agency... if the Phillies have the money to waste, great, but almost any of the top-level free agent SP's are going to be ridiculously overpriced. The problem is, once you offload all this cash to deal with Thome, how do you justify signing a guy like Burnett for 4/50 or whatever? (note - I'm making up that number)

The trading block will be where it's at this offseason, if they can work out the right deals.

"The Twins have verified that they have had conversations with Philadelphia management regarding a possible transaction for first baseman Jim Thome, where the Phillies would have to pick up a good share of Thome's contract. The deal has a balance of $43.5 million remaining for three years."

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